3. JESUS MEETS A SUCCESSFUL YOUNG POLITICIAN Mark 10:17-27
Background: Matthew describes the man in our text a young man, and Luke says that he was in a high social position. He may even have been a member of the local parliament, that is, the Supreme Council.
Verses 17-18. Please note that in Middle Eastern cultures, running is not considered as appropriate behavior to a self-respecting man. Not kneeling in front of people either.
What caused this successful young man to behave as unusually as verse 17 tells us?
Why hadn’t success and wealth made this man happy and content?
Why didn’t Jesus accept the man’s address when he called him a “good teacher”?
Why do we not always have certainty about what will happen to us after death?
Why did this man have no assurance of salvation even though he had obeyed God’s commandments all his life?
Many successful men have faced great temptations, for example, concerning money and women. How had this man got over all these temptations without falling into them a single time?
Note that according to Jesus, the commandments must also be obeyed in thoughts and words, not just in deeds. Do you think that this man had managed living so? Please give your reasons.
Which of the commandments Jesus listed do you find most difficult to obey?
Do you know people who could say the same about their morals as this man did? If you do, who are they?
What was the thing this man was still missing?
What were the treasures this man had on earth?
How can our treasures be stored up in heaven?
Compare a treasure in heaven with a treasure on earth. What are the differences?
If you had to choose, which one would you take: a heavenly treasure or an earthly one?
The young man probably had a wife, children and maybe even old parents to support. What would have happened to them if he had obeyed Jesus’ commandment in verse 21?
Could you give up your property and your bank account if that were a condition of following Jesus? Give your reasons.
According to verse 21, Jesus looked at the young man and loved him. So why did he give the man such a hard order that he couldn’t fulfill it?
What options were left for the man when he realized that he couldn’t give up his treasure?
How might Jesus have reacted if the man had confessed that he loved money more than God and asked for forgiveness?
So what was the biggest mistake of this young man?
When Jesus says “rich”, what kind of rich does he mean?
Imagine that a camel were trying to push its head through an eye of a needle. Why is it equally difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God?
The ancestor of the Jews, Abraham, was a very rich man who never gave up his possessions and still got to heaven? Why?
Verses 26-27. Here Jesus is no longer talking only about the rich, but about all the people of the world.
Compare the two answers that Jesus gave to the rich young man and Peter (verses 21 and 27). What do they have in common, what is different?
Jesus did not answer directly Peter’s question in verse 26. What do you think would be the right answer?
Why is it impossible for all people to be saved? Why is saving people possible only for God?
Glad tidings: The person who does not see his sins, usually leaves Jesus. If you realize that you haven’t obeyed the commandments listed by Jesus, you should ask Jesus for forgiveness. You can do it by yourself, in front of a pastor / priest or at a communion table. Then you will also receive the assurance that you will inherit eternal life and go to heaven after your death.